Thurrock Council has immediately implemented measures to help enforce social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the most vulnerable members of our community following the Prime Minster’s announcement yesterday evening.
With immediate effect, and until further notice, council-managed buildings will be closed to the public. The Civic Offices in New Road, Grays has closed to residents today.
All community hubs and libraries are now closed including:
- Aveley Library –part of the Aveley Community Hub
- Belhus Library – part of the South Ockendon Centre
- Blackshots Library
- Chadwell Library – part of Chadwell Information Centre and Hub
- Corringham Library
- East Tilbury Library – part of East Tilbury Community Hub
- Grays Library
- Purfleet Library – part of Purfleet Community Hub
- Stanford-le-Hope Library
- Tilbury Library – part of Tilbury Hub
- Acorns Community Hub, Stifford Clays
We recognise the vital role these buildings and services provided from them play to residents. Work is underway through the Stronger Together Partnership to make sure residents who are most vulnerable at this time have the support they need to follow the new social distancing guidelines. More information will be available in the coming days.
Most council services are available online through thurrock.gov.uk. During this time, we ask that residents use the website and email to make sure we can keep phone lines free for the borough's most vulnerable residents who would normally receive face-to-face assistance.
For the following services these are the email addresses to use for help and advice or to report a problem if unable to do so via the website.
- council tax – firstname.lastname@example.org
- general enquiries – email@example.com
- waste – firstname.lastname@example.org
- highways emergency repairs – email@example.com or for emergencies call 01375 652 350
These are the contact details for emergency or critical face-to-face council services:
- Benefits – Benefits@thurrock.gov.uk or call 01375 652 950
- Housing services for homelessness, housing advice, temporary or private sector accommodation, housing register – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01375 652 820
- Thurrock First for adult social care – email@example.com or 01375 511 000
- Children’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01375 652 802
- Emergencies out of hours – 01375 372 468
The borough's parks will remain open for exercise only. Park users must obey social distancing rules, ensuring people are alone or only out with other people they live with and stay 2 metres or 6 feet apart. Play areas and outdoor exercise areas will be closed with immediate effect.
In addition, the impact of COVID-19 is affecting other council services including:
- garden waste collections have been suspended – residents are advised to put food and small amounts of grass cuttings in their general waste for collection on the usual day
- Linford Household Waste and Recycling Centre – the site is closed today (24 March) and decisions about it opening being made daily
- housing repairs are moving to emergency repairs only
- Grangewaters is closed to the public from Tuesday 24 March – anyone who has booked a session can postpone it to a later date or get a refund of their deposit
- children’s centres are closed to the public from Tuesday 24 March
- The Sunshine Centre and Oaktree Contact Centre have been closed – alternative arrangements are being made for the most vulnerable families using these services
- Inspire Youth Hub in Grays is closed and all drop-in sessions and face-to-face meetings cancelled – young people seeking career advice will still be able to carry out interviews by phone and service users will be issued with Career Action Plans
- Thameside Complex – Thurrock Museum, the Thameside theatre and library are all closed, but registrars will remain open only for appointments to register a death
- Community Environment Development Fund applications are suspended to ensure a fairer process for all
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill said: "We are facing one of the biggest challenges of our time and it is vital that we in Thurrock all play our part in making sure we do everything we can to slow the spread of coronavirus.
"We in Thurrock Council wholeheartedly support the measures introduced by the Prime Minister yesterday and have moved swiftly to ensure that people obey the social distancing rules.
"The country is now at a tipping-point where our actions will dictate how this epidemic develops. We must all heed these rules, take responsibility for our actions and play a role in slowing the spread of this terrible virus, saving countless lives.
"If we ignore the government the most likely outcome is that there will be thousands upon thousands of preventable deaths.
"The message is clear and simple: stay at home, do not go out unless you absolutely have to and avoid socialising. By doing this we can help to control the spread and make sure that the number of people getting ill does not overwhelm the NHS.
"I am sure there will be more messages in the coming days and weeks from the council to help residents understand what we are doing and why as well as the support available to those most in need.
"Regrettably there are many rumours which do nothing but spread confusion and misinformation. I would ask residents look only to messages direct from Thurrock Council either in the press, by email or on our social media pages to find out what we are doing to ensure essential services are maintained, that our vulnerable residents are kept safe and supported and that the official advice from government is made available to all."
Full guidance on the measures the government has introduced, go to GOV.UK: Full guidance on staying at home and away from others
More information and links to advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on our coronavirus (COVID-19) web page.